October 1, 2014

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Brocky wins election in a landslide
Written by Terry Viel   
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 10:49 PM

The elections of 1958 in Harrison were quite something to witness, especially the mayor’s race, featuring a long-standing incumbent, Albert Donawerth versus a popular challenger, Clyde "Brocky" Small. Albert had been in the Harrison's mayor seat since 1947 and was the pre-election favorite.

Several hot topic issues were debated by the candidates at three separate popular locations. The first political debate was held at Charlie's Ranch focusing on immigration reform. Each candidate laid out their plan to deal with all of the immigrants migrating from Western Hills’ flooding into the "Meadows."

The second debate, held at the 5H, was dominated by "Brocky" who clearly defined his foreign-policy plan, or in other words, how to deal with it the Hoosiers across State Street. The final debate, conducted in the ostentatious  Corner Café, focusing on jobs, was vigorously debated by both sides, and appeared to be a standoff. The issue was how many new positions would be made available at the Harrison dump. The growing population was making things pile up, so to speak, at the Harrison dump.

The increased tonnage at the dump demanded that a special type of person was needed to fill these positions. First and foremost their nose sensitivity had to be reduced and secondly, they had to possess good marksmanship skills, capable of handling a .22 to control the rodents on the premises.
With the help of the annoying Robo- caller of 1958, Sarah at the Harrison Telephone Company switchboard, plus lots of knocking on doors, "Brocky" defeated Albert Donawerth quite handily, taking 811 of the 1375 votes cast. One must not forget that in 1958 Election Day was just that, a single day.

The individual citizen had to make a personal effort, register to vote, get off the davenport, go to the polling place and cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. Also voting only once was the accepted practice of that time.

During the campaign some mud was flying around as you might expect. One of the candidates was accused of being a (1%er), having alleged offshore bank accounts in Bright. Nothing was ever proven.

The remaining Harrison governing body was filled out with a perfect balance of village council members, three D’s and three R’s.

Look closely at election polling places and you'll see location B, the Municipal Building, not the Town Hall. The Harrison Town Hall, built in 1877 was razed in 1957 on the watch of the incumbent mayor.

This was not a popular event in the town in 1958 and still remains a very widely discussed topic even today. Perhaps the deciding issue in the final Electoral College count, deciding to replace the Harrison mayor was partly due to the destruction of the Town Hall.

Thank you "Brocky" and all the past as well as a present Mayors of Harrison for your service to the community. Perhaps as technology advances one day we can acquire an old brick from the Town Hall, extract its DNA and build a clone of the beautiful 1877 Town Hall, locate it where she once stood, on the corner of Harrison Ave. and Walnut Street. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  I am Terry Viel and I approve this article, and please take this article with a grain of salt.